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Noah Caldwell-Gervais compares the horror of Alan Wake and The Evil Within and pessimism and optimism for the future in SOMA and Tacoma, the sex focused games on display at PAX Australia's xxxhibition exhibit, new Overwatch character and map revealed, the positive masculinity of Yakuza's protagonists, how a used game store became a welcome escape in post-hurricane Puerto Rico, progress on next Hitman game, new Nier game in development, Activision working with Youtuber after CS skin gambling scandal to promote Call of Duty and what the new Call of Duty can learn from the old, how a photo of a real assassination could end up in a Batman game, Starcraft 2 going free to play (first expansion free to owners), how Monster Hunter developers hope to bring in new players, studio closures and layoffs, sales and company profits, how video game character art is evolving, and more.

 

Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)

 

How Monster Hunter: World is changing the series to bring in more players

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New controls, and a story that gets right to it

Monster Hunter World Devs Weigh In On Loot Boxes

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The upcoming console version of Monster Hunter won't have a loot crate system, but here's what the devs think of the mechanic.

 

IO Interactive are making more Hitman

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As much as we loved last year’s episodic Hitman, when IO Interactive split from Square it seemed their rework of the franchise was doomed to end in tragedy. But then good news started trickling in - IO retained the rights to Hitman, and they started announcing more content. Now it seems the newly independent developer is in a healthy enough position to start filling up their staff again.

IO Interactive Teases Details On 'Next Hitman Game'

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On its official blog, the company posted a thank-you as part of the launch of Hitman's "Game of the Year" edition, which offers every map from the base game as well as some bonus content. The interesting bit, though, was a short tease about the future of the series.

 

NieR Producer Confirms New Game In Series Has Begun Development

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In an interview with Dengeki PlayStation, NieR producer Yosuke Saito confirmed that development has begun on a new project.

 

The Walking Dead’s final season features the return of Rogue One writer Gary

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It’s already a day past Halloween, but that doesn’t mean the spooky season is over. Scares are never over, really, especially in 2017. The nightmare of Telltale’s The Walking Dead has been continuing since 2012, but it’s finally set to see its conclusion next year in its fourth and final season.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead getting visual upgrade in PS4, Xbox One collection

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Revisit the 2012 original with a modern day look

 

Dragon Ball FighterZ’s story mode stars an amnesiac Goku

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Dragon Ball FighterZ has felt like the hottest upcoming fighting game for a while now, with Arc’s gorgeous animation systems finally bringing to life one of the most beloved action anime series ever.

 

I Don’t Trust David Cage to Tackle Domestic Violence in 'Detroit'

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There's nothing wrong with that, but that is still a choice . You have to own that choice. You have to take responsibility for the pandora's box you're opening. Some boxes should be opened—some boxes need to be opened. But don't be cavalier about it.

 

Legion TD 2 launch trailer showcases competitive, team-based tower defense action

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The successor to the popular Warcraft 3 mod will launch in Early Access later this month.

 

Ys Eight: Lacrimosa of Dana delayed again, won't be out until 2018

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Fixing this thing is a bigger job than anyone expected.

 

Odd Gods is a '90s-style RPG about the '90s

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Odd Gods is an RPG about time, in both its story and its systems. The main characters are time-traveling kids from the '90s who pick up companions from other timelines as they bounce between them, and the combat combines turn-based and real-time in a way that's reminiscent of Frozen Synapse but hasn't been done in many other games.

 

Shadow Of The Colossus’ PS4 Remake Is Making Smart Tweaks

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Tamoor went hands on with the PS4 remake of Shadow of the Colossus at Paris Games Week 2017 and talks through his impressions. (Gameplay captured off-screen)

 

New System Shock video shows off mutant dismemberment tech

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See the latest work-in-progress footage from the System Shock reboot.

 

How first-person text adventure Winter's Wake drew crowds at PAX

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You see an article about a text adventure. It sounds interesting, and you consider reading more.

 

Rumu is a point-and-click adventure starring a sentient vacuum cleaner

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A chat with the game's lead designer about robo-sentience.

 

Injustice 2's PC version is in good shape prior to its release next week

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I have no idea how to play Injustice 2, a fighting game featuring characters from the DC Comics universe, but after some embarrassing rounds in the free beta I have largely positive impressions of the fighter. Barring any yet-to-be-discovered performance issues with hardware I haven't tested, this appears to be a good PC version.

 

The Siege and the Sandfox is an irresponsibly detailed 'stealthvania' game

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Look at those bricks. Look at them!

 

Try the demo for Crown of Leaves, a visual novel about an anthropomorphic jeweler

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You play as Roui, a 27-year-old male Sahash. The Sahash are a race of animal people who live alongside humans in Shang-La, the game's fictional world, and look like anthropomorphized fox-antelopes. Roui has a long snout, a toothy smile, pronounced horns and big, characterful ears, and other characters flesh out a neat variety of Sahash phenotypes.

 

New Character Contest For Upcoming SNK Game Won By Saudi Artist

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Put on by Manga Productions, her character “Najd” will make an appearance in an upcoming game, though details have not yet been released on what game that will be.

 

Once Upon a Coma looks as somber as it sounds

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A flash game darling returns.

 

Here's A Ton Of New Info On Xenoblade Chronicles 2

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We’re just over three weeks away from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and to celebrate, Nintendo today offered a bunch of new details for the upcoming Switch role-playing game, including a spotlight of the combat system and the reveal of a season pass. Outstream Video

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

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After spending four hours of hands-on time and chatting with its developers, we have a better understanding of what Xenoblade Chronicles 2 offers in terms of combat, characters, and exploration. Get ready to journey across colossal beasts and customize your party by discovering new Blades, all while seeking out the ultimate paradise for humanity.

 

Update #21: Design Focus: Are probabilities ruining role-playing experience?

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We’ve got a great question from Kamen42 in the comments section of our Kickstarter. He was rewatching Sacred Fire trailers and had an intriguing idea: wouldn’t it be more fun if we hide the success probabilities of choices in Sacred Fire? And the idea seemed so interesting, that Andrej wrote an insightful answer that deserves a full-blown Design Focus update.

 

Amid Evil feels like the fastest retro-styled FPS yet

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For fans of Heretic, Hexen, ye olde Quake, and running very fast.

 

After 21 years and countless games, the Touhou series arrives on Steam this month

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It's easy to understate the importance of the Touhou series. This bullet-hell shmup franchise by largely enigmatic solo developer ZUN has been a pointedly Japanese phenomenon, although its influence has been felt in the evolution of the genre worldwide, and has helped lead even larger developers away from arcade cabinets and towards the PC as a viable platform for this particular breed of retro thrills.

 

ToeJam & Earl’s new game pushed into 2018

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Funky alien fans, you’ll have to wait

 

Ghost Story Games, formerly Irrational Games, is making an immersive sim

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Former Bioshock developer hiring for its art team.

 

Futuristic shooter Ironsight coming to Western PCs with beta later this month

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Ironsight, a futuristic multiplayer FPS from South Korean developer Wiple Games, is coming to Western PCs later this month with a closed beta that launches November 14. Its multiplayer matches look fast and furious and from what I can tell it's in the mould of the modern Call of Duty games—the guns have virtually no recoil and you'll call in airstrikes, pilot attack drones and throw sticky grenades.

 

Deep Rock Galactic is basically Starship Troopers but with space miner dwarves

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Delving too greedily and too deep in a promising Early Access horde shooter.

 

Ace of Seafood – Gameplay Trailer | PS4

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Ace of Seafood is coming out on PlayStation®4 on November 9, 2017.

 

Frozen Synapse 2 will likely have a beta by the end of the year

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Frozen Synapse is a very particular combination of turn-based strategic commands and simultaneous execution means that there is little else like it, and new of an upcoming sequel has certainly been interesting - even if that sequel has been long in development, and won’t be making its planned release date this year.

 

Blizzard is making StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty free-to-play

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However, people who already own Wings of Liberty will be able to download Heart of the Swarm for free for a limited time (between November 8th and December 8th, specifically), and all StarCraft II owners will get a smattering of cosmetic DLC come the 14th.

 

Battle for Azeroth: World of Warcraft returns to its roots

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The biggest MMO in the world prepares for its seventh expansion pack

This is how Blizzard plans to finally bring back Vanilla WoW servers

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We talk to Blizzard's vice president to learn why it took so long, and how it's happening.

 

Overwatch’s Moira backstory fills a gap in the lore

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Including details we’ve long wondered about a different hero

Overwatch Animated Short | “Honor and Glory”

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Explore the origin story of Overwatch’s rocket-hammer wielding knight in our latest animated short: Honor and Glory!

Overwatch's Scott Mercer says addressing toxic players "is an issue across Blizzard"

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"We've all been trying to work together, really trying to sit down and say 'How can we make our games a better place?'"

Blizzard Adding More Special Skins To Regular Overwatch Loot Boxes

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Today during the Overwatch “What’s Next” panel at BlizzCon, Blizzard announced that from now on, it’ll add more event-style skins to regular, non-event loot boxes.

Overwatch will keep bringing back seasonal events, but they’ll see changes

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Overwatch has had a pretty impressive run of seasonal events, ranging from holiday specials like Halloween Terror to even some story-driven content like Uprising. A couple of those have already returned a year later, and it seems Blizzard want to keep these events in rotation - but they won’t be coming back unchanged.

Overwatch’s Blizzard World map is full of fun Easter eggs

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Overwatch is getting a new map that’s part theme park, part tribute to more than two decades of Blizzard games. And since staffers from across Blizzard Entertainment weighed in on the development of the Blizzard World map, it’s stuffed with inside jokes and Easter eggs for Blizzard fans.

Blizzard Built A 'Strike Team' To Put An End To Overwatch Jerks

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These days, it’s hard to talk about Overwatch without mentioning its ongoing struggles with sexism, racism, griefing, match throwing, and worse. At BlizzCon, game director Jeff Kaplan told Kotaku that fighting toxicity is now more of a priority than ever, to the point that Blizzard has formed a “strike team” to do so. Outstream Video

 

Early Impressions Of Hanzo And Alexstrasza's Heroes Of The Storm Debut

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Two new heroes will join the Heroes of the Storm roster: Alexstrasza from World of Warcraft and Hanzo from Overwatch. They’re coming to Heroes of the Storm in the coming weeks, and both characters made their debut on the show floor at Blizzcon 2017.

These are the changes coming for stealth heroes in HotS

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The Heroes of the Storm team already revealed that they want to fix stealth for the game in the coming year, and today at BlizzCon’s Hero Deep Dive they went into detail on what changes they’re implementing to make stealth characters more fun, both to play as and against. That means changes for four heroes - Nova, Valeera, Samuro, and Zeratul.

Heroes of the Storm fights for a smaller, but passionate audience

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HotS may never match Dota or League's numbers, but maybe that's OK

 

Assassin's Creed: Origins Patch Adds More Photo Mode Features

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A new patch for Assassin's Creed: Origins, version 1.0.3, makes a large host of small changes and adds features and filters to the photo mode.

 

12 minutes of Horizon: Zero Dawn expansion ‘The Frozen Wilds’ gameplay

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Sony Interactive Entertainment and Guerrilla Gamves have released a 12-minute gameplay video of the upcoming Horizon: Zero Dawn expansion “The Frozen Wilds” showing the “Survivor” quest.

 

Planet Coaster Anniversary Update adds a scenario editor and new rides later this month

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The update will be free.

 

Bomber Crew earned $1 million in its first week, and a bunch more stuff is on the way

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Strategic flight sim Bomber Crew is fast becoming an autumn success story. It wowed at first blush and held up when our own Paul Dean gave it a go, and according to lead designer Dave Miller, plenty of others are enjoying it too.

 

Rainbow Six Siege's new Polish operator totes a dual-fire grenade launcher

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Yet more Rainbow Six Siege leaks seem to reveal the new Polish operator's gadget.

 

Next For Honor season adds a Viking Shaman and a dual katana-wielding Samurai

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Season 4, which also introduces the new Capture the Flag game mode, launches November 14.

 

Creative Assembly teases something new for Total War: Rome 2

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It's been three years since the last DLC release.

 

Bundle Stars becomes Fanatical, launch sale now live

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New deals every day for the next two weeks, 80 percent off select games.

 

Explicit Sex Games Keep Getting Onto Steam

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If at any given moment you visit the Steam store’s front page, there’s a strong chance you’ll get an eyeful of exposed skin from some lewd adventure or action game’s listing. Steam doesn’t allow pornographic games, but in the Steam Direct era, they keep appearing on Valve’s service anyway—until they’re taken down, that is.

 

Ken Wong: "Gaming's remit is up for us to challenge"

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Given the unique nature of Monument Valley, it was always a safe bet that Ken Wong's next title would be something special.

 

"The risk is to have no appeal at all"

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Red Accent's Greg Gobbi says Western and Chinese developers can create games with global appeal, but it needs to be about collaboration, not compromise

 

Gaming's Annual DICE Summit Prepares for Change Under New Leadership

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Don’t expect any major changes in this year’s DICE Summit or Awards, but they’re coming says Meggan Scavio, the new president of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.

 

Studio Behind Torchlight Shuts Down; Big Layoffs At Studio Behind Gigantic

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China-based publisher Perfect World this week laid off most of Motiga, the developer of the hero shooter Gigantic, and shut down Runic Games, the studio behind the popular action-RPG Torchlight and the recently released puzzle-platformer Hob. Both game developers were based in Seattle.

Microsoft asked the now-disbanded Runic Games to make another Fable title (and very nearly published Torchlight)

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Runic almost became part of Plants vs Zombies developer PopCap, according to its co-founder.

 

Housemarque's bittersweet farewell to the arcade shoot 'em up

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The commercial disappointment of Nex Machina and Matterfall marks the end of an era for the Finnish studio - and the start of another

 

Telltale Games lays off 25 percent of workforce

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Studio to focus on “delivering fewer, better games with a smaller team”

 

Danganronpa series assistant producer Yuichiro Saito leaves Spike Chunsoft

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Saito to continue producing console games.

 

Arc System Works establishes North American branch

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New branch to 'ensure the fans voices are heard and applied.'

 

Destiny 2 and digital drive Activision Blizzard growth

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More than half of Destiny 2 copies sold on consoles were purchased digitally as Activision side carries the company's quarter [UPDATE: Over $1bn in-game revenues]

 

Monster Hunter Switch drives publisher's sales up to $295m

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Nintendo title shows "stalwart performance", publisher expects downloads to account for one in three sales by April

 

Physical games continue to drive sales for Sega Sammy

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Between this year and last, Sega Sammy has nearly doubled the number of physical game copies sold during the first half of its fiscal year, though the actual money brought in between the first half of the two years remained about the same.

 

Microsoft Shifts to Make More of Its Own Video Game Software

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Company will open new game studios or acquire them, Xbox chief Spencer says

 

Despite Controversy, Counter-Strike Gambling Guy Still Officially Repping Call Of Duty

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Martin’s career as a Call of Duty YouTuber and streamer was tainted after a 2016 scandal around a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive skin gambling site. Along with his friend Tom “ProSyndicate” Cassell, Martin founded and promoted the site CSGOLotto.com, where users could gamble real money in hopes of striking Counter-Strike weapon skin gold. The rarest of those weapons could be exchanged for a lot of cash (the industry itself has been valued as high as $2.3 billion).

 

Ubisoft Denies Assassin's Creed Origins' DRM Is Slamming Your CPU

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Since the release of Assassin’s Creed Origins on PC, some users have been complaining that the game’s CPU usage has been immense, sometimes pushing 90-100%. That’s not normal, and it’s led to accusations that the game’s new DRM is the culprit.

Ubisoft Sneakily Backtracks On PC HDR Support for Assassin’s Creed Origins

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Turns out that HDR isn’t permitted, at least on PC.

Assassin's Creed Origins launch sales double Syndicate's

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Strong return of historical action franchise a bonus as Mario + Rabbids, Rainbow Six Siege help push first half sales up 66% year-over-year

Assassin's Creed and Watch Dogs officially occupy the same fictional universe

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Ubisoft have confirmed a long-held fan theory that two of their open-world franchises share the same fictional universe. Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs both exist alongside one another.

 

PUBG ban in China unlikely, says industry analyst

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China is already the number one region for the game, with a 40% share of active players

WILL CHINA BAN PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS?

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In our view, the statement from the CADPA refers more to official game approvals in China. If PUBG was to launch officially, Bluehole would need to partner with a Chinese publisher and submit the game to the SAPPRFT for a license. If PUBG was to go down this route, we believe that it would be harder for them to get approval without making changes to the game as per SAPPRFT content regulations. This is similar to the situation we saw with Counter Strike: GO in China where Perfect World had to remove and edit some elements of the game prior to official launch. For example, they had to change the color of blood from red to black.

Tencent are making their own battle royale game

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The real story for most outside of Asia, however, is in the business implications. Tencent are the fourth-largest internet company in the world (behind Facebook, Google, and Amazon), and own a stake in some of the biggest games in the world, including League of Legends and Clash of Clans.

 

Southeast Asia’s PC online and mobile game revenue hits $2.2 billion in 2017

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Southeast Asia’s PC online and mobile game revenue is projected to reach $2.2 billion by the end of 2017, and it could rise to $4.4 billion by 2021, according to a new report by market researcher Niko Partners.

 

The Reason Why The Xbox One X Is Selling Out In Japan

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And this morning, the Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara, one of the biggest in Japan, didn’t exactly draw waiting hopefuls trying to snag an Xbox One X.

 

UK Government ordered to release Brexit impact study on the games industry today

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The UK Government has commissioned an investigation into the impact that Brexit will have on the British economy, with the videogames industry named last week as one of the sectors considered. MPs called for the investigation’s release in a unanimous vote last week, and yesterday, the Speaker of the House of Commons ordered the Government to comply by the end of today or explain why they have not.

 

Gaming’s biggest trade body throws support behind Republican tax reform

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The replies to the ESA’s tweet about the bill are filled with backlash, as industry members argue that it’s the upper-level company staffers who stand to benefit, not the lower-level workers — like game designers.

 

Intel joins forces with AMD to battle Nvidia

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We checked the weather this morning and sure enough, Hell hasn't frozen over. Instead, something even less likely happened today—Intel announced it is working with rival AMD to build a new Core processor with custom Radeon graphics inside the chip package, with an emphasis on gaming performance.

 

One man's endless quest to fix Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines has grown into something of a legend among PC gamers. You will hear whispers on subreddits about its troubled development and what a technical disaster it was upon release in 2004, even though relatively few people actually played it back then. You will read declarations on RPG forums that it is a masterpiece, perhaps even one of the best games ever made - with unforgettable quests, excellent writing, and diverse character customisation. But are they praising the game as it was or the game as it is now?

 

Fan-made Gothic 2 mod claims to add 250 hours to the RPG

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Gothic 2 Returning 2.0 is out now, and an English installation guide is coming soon.

 

This Doom mod is the 3D Castlevania you’ve always wanted

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Castlevania had a rough time transitioning to 3D. The less said about Castlevania 64 the better, and even the pretty solid Lords of Shadow games lacked that real Castlevania essence. But now it seems we might finally have the 3D Castlevania of our dreams in the form of a Doom mod.

 

Esports News

 

Intel Announce IEM PyeongChang, with Support from the International Olympic Committee

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After several publicized conversations regarding esports in the Olympics, Intel has taken the possibility a step closer. A new version of the Intel Extreme Masters tournament, IEM PyeongChang, will be held in South Korea as a ‘warm-up’ to the 2018 Winter Olympics – with support from the International Olympics Committee.

 

Korean Esports Association Offices Raided by Police, Following Bribery Allegations

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South Korean police have raided the offices of the Korean Esports Association (KeSPA), late on Monday, November 6, following corruption allegations. According to South Korean newspapers “Korea Joongang Daily” and “The Hankyoreh”, prosecutors are investigating funds received by an unnamed former KeSPA president in 2015 from Lotte Homeshopping, a company later involved in two major bribery scandals.

 

League of Legends World Finals Had A Freaking Dragon

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Last night was the final clash of the 2017 League of Legends World Championships, a climactic rematch between Samsung Galaxy and SKT T1. Before the games started, Riot Games put on a massive opening ceremony including a giant trophy, a live performance of Worlds theme “Legends Never Die,” and a freaking dragon.

Riot Games Releases Details of NA League of Legends Scouting and Draft Event

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Riot Games has released details about its upcoming North American Scouting Grounds event. NASG is intricately tied into the newly-franchised NA League of Legends Championship Series—one of the most-watched esports leagues and a highly-anticipated fixture of esports in 2018.

How a dynasty was toppled at the League of Legends World Championship

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A seemingly unbeatable team clashes with the challenger it defeated last year in the best LoL Worlds yet.

 

France's overtime Bastion push was Overwatch cheese played at the highest level

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Sometimes all you need is a Bastion on the payload with a bunch of shields.

Overwatch World Cup Comes Down To A Fight Over Meters

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The 2017 Overwatch World Cup finals saw reigning champions South Korea take on Canada, the mighty titan versus the underdog. There was cheers, excitement, and one very polite signholder in the crowd.

Blizzard Announces New Details On How The Overwatch League Will Work

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Following last night’s 2017 Overwatch World Cup, Blizzard shared a bunch of details about how the game’s upcoming professional league will work, including scheduling, prize money, and how the teams will be split up to create separate divisions. The start date is January 10 of next year.

Fans Are Loving Overwatch's New Spectator Tools

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With its colorful cast and proclivity for wild plays that are equal parts tactical and mechanical, Overwatch is brimming with esports potential. Problem is, it can be a mess of exploding mechs, screen-engulfing ghost dragons, and middle-aged men in Scream Halloween costumes—too much of a mess, sometimes, to actually sit down and watch. Thank goodness for the new spectator tools.

Blizzard don’t make games with esports in mind

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Blizzard have one of the most robust libraries of competitive games in the world, and while none of those individual titles might quite match the heights of League of Legends or Dota 2, the Blizzard catalog as a whole is perhaps the most defining one in esports. You can even point to StarCraft’s success, particularly in South Korea, as the foundation of modern competitive gaming.

 

Tekken Player Flies Up European Rankings With Tournament Win

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Adnan “Blackbeard” Zaman came into Paris Games Week as the 51st player on the Tekken 7 leaderboards in Europe. But a massive run through the Tekken World Tour event this weekend took him all the way up to the top, placing him in the top three of his region just ahead of the world tour finals.

 

The Ups And Downs Of Teabagging In Pro Gaming

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When the clock counted down the last 100 seconds, Injustice 2 Pro Series player Dominique “Sonic Fox” McLean knew he’d already won the match. His opponent’s health bar had been reduced to a sliver. All Sonic Fox had to do was kill time. So he started teabagging.

 

The challenges for PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds becoming a great esport

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How one of the most popular games on Steam can become one of its best esports.

 

Esports Needs To Embrace Its Moments Of Honest-To-God Emotion

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The most memorable image from this weekend’s League of Legends world championships wasn’t of the winner’s podium, the trophy, the stadium, or even the freaking dragon in the arena. It was of Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, a godlike figure in League of Legends, brought to tears after a crushing 3-0 loss.

 

Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)

 

OBELUS

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Obelus is an intense arcade combat sidescroller with a thought provoking narrative. You are Dave, an interplanetary insurance salesman, travelling and fighting aggressive fauna across the galaxy with no one but your trusty corporation approved mech AI for company.

 

Content I found interesting this week (interviews, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, documentaries, criticism, etc)

 

How Could a Photo of a Real Assassination End Up in a Batman Game?

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October 3rd this year saw the release of episode 2 in Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within. A scene in the game features Bruce Wayne discussing a crime at the Gotham Brokerage with Alfred, whereupon an image flashes up on the Bat-computer.

 

In Post-Hurricane Puerto Rico, This Used Game Store Is A Welcome Escape

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Returning to his classic video game shop Neo Japan Games in the weeks after Hurricane Maria, Jerry Robles thought business would be quiet. But he opened his doors just south of San Juan to find more customers than usual crowding around to look at old game cartridges and classic consoles.

“The day we reopened at 11am we had people in line waiting,” said Robles. “As crazy as it sounds, because gaming is not a necessity like buying water or food, for those people (myself included) it’s a way of coping with the situation.” He still remembers the first thing that was sold after the hurricane: a copy of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and a Game Boy Advance charging adapter.

 

How much say do developers have in their schedules?

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I'm talking to Jake Birkett of Grey Alien Games, developer of Regency Solitaire and upcoming card-based RPG Shadowhand. "It occurred the day after I had done some kind of crunch until 5 am," he says. "I got up in the morning and crawled under my desk to switch the plugs on, and my back went out. I'm just in my early 40s now."

 

A future I would want to live in

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The games industry is a specialist in dystopia, but there are other ways of thinking about and designing the future

 

1997 vs 2007 vs 2017: how is videogame character design evolving? Part one

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At what sort of pace is gaming moving towards more sophisticated and diverse depictions of humans? Do the stylised heroes of the modern medium affect how we feel about our own appearance? And will there ever be a shooter made in which the protagonist has a body fat percentage above 15%?

 

West of Loathing's creators do 'whatever the industry says you're not supposed to be doing'

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Asymmetric's Zack Johnson discusses one of 2017's most surprising games.

 

This 'xxxhibition' complete with dildo joysticks was the highlight of PAX Australia

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The Blushbox Collective put on a diverse showcase of videogames about sexy sex.

 

Lucas Pope on life after Papers, Please

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The long road to the Return of the Obra Dinn.

 

Bury Me, My Love Tells A Moving Story With Text Messages

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I don’t usually fall for interactive fiction or smartphone games, but Bury Me, My Love hooked me. This mobile game charts the journey of a young woman named Nour as she tries to escape the civil war in Syria by fleeing to Europe, told through text messages.

Syrian Refugee Game Bury Me, My Love Reflects the Agony of Waiting for a Text

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The benefits of modern technology mean we can be in constant communication with each other. So long as there’s an internet connection or phone service, contacting people is quick and simple to do. But even with these advantages, there will always be brief moments where there is no wi-fi, no cell service, no way to be reached. Those are the times where our dependence on our phones and computers turns into agony and helplessness. This is exactly what Bury Me, My Love wants.

 

Reaching out towards the past in Assassins Creed Origins

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When we talk about history we are, more often than not, talking about architecture. From the cities in which we live and work, to those we travel to as a form of escape, we constantly encounter history through its architectural presence. The ruins or restored structures of cathedrals, castles, temples, tombs-they are preserved as interfaces with history, ways of accessing the inaccessible and long distant past. Even meagre structures, such as the steel teeth and concrete bunkers of the Normandy beaches, take on an incredible architectural power and worth through their proximity to culturally significant events. As individuals we constantly seek these places out, and stare from crowded streets at their unrelenting stones in hope of some form of contact. We might even touch them, idly running our hands, as thousands upon thousands have, along their walls. For many of us, these encounters will be the most powerful architectural memories we form in our lives.

 

In Wolfenstein 2's Quietest Chapter, Evil Hides in Plain Sight

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Earlier in the game, BJ meets Grace Walker, a resistance fighter, for the first time. They spit back and forth, she teaches him a thing or two about his rose-colored glasses view of America, similar to how the Jimi Hendrix-like character did in the last game, Wolfenstein: The New Order. As a black woman, she's lived through the ugliness of America her whole life—long before the Nazis took over.

Wolfenstein II Captures the Heartache of Going Home Again

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Almost every night for the past ten years, I’ve dreamed about the house I grew up in.

Wolfenstein II: a good argument for games to get political

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As we discussed on the Gamasutra Twitch channel last week, The New Colossus comes out swinging for the fences on some big and heavy ideas. It makes explicit connections between domestic abuse and the seeds of white supremacy. It mulls over how characters can pursue religious and artistic pursuits in times of darkness. And as the game goes on, it takes a close look at the very thin line that separates hero B.J. Blazkowicz from the Nazis he's hunting down.

The New Resistance

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The standard line on the release of Wolfenstein sequel The New Colossus goes such – the time between the releases of it and its prequel has transformed political culture and the result is that what was once simply schlocky pulp ur-video game stuff has become something more profound and important by staying the same. I take issue with this; but not because I don’t agree that media that gleefully slaughters Nazis doesn’t feel distressingly refreshing and contentious at the point in history we’re at. Instead I think it’s an obfuscation of what the previous game was, one that is fairly indicative about how the ascendance of the far right in the world of mainstream politics is framed.

Wolfenstein Knows How To Throw A Party

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I wish more video games would let their hair down like Wolfenstein: The New Colossus does.

 

The history behind Call of Duty: WWII

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Call of Duty: WWII is told from the perspective of a young enlisted man in the United States Army’s First Infantry Division, an active duty unit that turns 100 this year.

 

Super Mario Odyssey Proves Nintendo Knows How to Soothe Anxiety

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While our real world fends with external sources of anxiety, we as individuals still have our internal anxieties to fight. For myself, a summer of personally shaking and traumatic events—a major breakup, a series of career rejections and an extended self-identity crisis—led me to explore my anxiety, depression and hypomania. I searched for healthy methods to cope with these afflictions. But whether one’s anxiety is based on external, worldwide factors or internal, deeply personal ones, an avenue one can take is to temporarily escape into another world. During my tumultuous summer, I found that Nintendo games became my medium for keeping my mental health issues at bay. The company’s newest game might be better suited for that task than any other.

 

Assassin’s Creed Origins’ promiscuous Cleopatra is just plain wrong

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"Much of what we know about Cleopatra is [Roman] propaganda," says Mary Beard, professor of classics at the University of Cambridge and author of recent best-seller SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome. "It was put about by Augustus after his war with Mark Antony, to discredit them both, and partly to show Antony in thrall to, and misled by, a seductive queen. I very, very much doubt that she was remotely flirtatious."

 

It’s Been Three Years And I Still Hate Solas

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Solas is one of the best-written characters in video games. It’s hard for me to think of a character whose loathsome worldview is so well developed, who, even when he’s on your side, manages to be a complete piece of shit about everything. He is a such a great character that I want to strangle that dude with my bare hands.

 

The Yakuza series tackles masculinity in a way few games can

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Many action games focus on combat and physical strength, but the Yakuza series shows us emotional intelligence is heroic too.

 

The New Call Of Duty Could Learn A Thing From The First Call Of Duty

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Call of Duty: WWII wants to tell a harrowing tale of heroes and sacrifice by following the US Army’s 1st Infantry Division throughout the war. The game’s squad-building mechanics are supposed to have impact, but they mostly mean having a dude sometimes toss you a medkit.

 

The Trouble with Trailers

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More importantly, though, it comes across as rather obnoxious and childish. Picking out what is likely one of the most gruesome scenes in the game and playing it as a trailer, free of context, really just suggests a marketing team that feels like its main goal must be to prove how 'mature' the game is, ticking off 'adult themes' like it's in a feature checklist on the back of the box.

 

The UFC's Best Fighter Tries To Keep MMA Out Of His Twitch Streams

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Many Twitch streamers enjoy sharing details about their personal lives as they game. But even though his username is mightymouseufc125, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson would rather not chat on stream about his career as the flyweight champion of the UFC.

 

One modder is on a quest to preserve Nintendo's forgotten Flash games

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A game maker and modder who operates under the name "Skelux" is in the middle of a quest to find and preserve "ancient relics": the many Flash games Nintendo once made and hosted on its website.

 

Blizzcon reacts to Overwatch's sexism problem

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Eurogamer talks to Blizzcon attendees about the current state of the Overwatch community and the toxic, often sexist behaviour that some players are experiencing.

 

Imaginary Monsters: Alan Wake vs. The Evil Within [Franchise Spoilers]

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This is a video essay comparing two survival horror franchises in which the monsters come directly from the imaginations of the characters. It discusses the unique possibilities unlocked by basing the horror directly out of the realm of dreams and nightmares. It also compares theme and structure between the titles.

___TABLE OF CONTENTS___

Alan Wake --
Alan Wake's American Nightmare--
The Evil Within--
Evil Within/The Assignment & The Consequence--
Evil WIthin/Executioner--
The Evil WIthin 2--

======
If you enjoyed this video and want to contribute to the production of others like it, please consider supporting me on Patreon!
https://www.patreon.com/noahcaldwellgervais

 

SOMA vs. Tacoma [Total Spoilers]

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This is a comparative critique of Frictional Games' SOMA and Fullbright Games' Tacoma. It focuses mostly on their storytelling and how, although quite different in tone and presentation, they ultimately agree in the points they're trying to make and the science fiction they're trying to accomplish. Spoilers throughout.

 

Making History with the Music of Pyre | Game Score Fanfare

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A look at how Pyre's soundtrack uses medieval bardic tradition to create a legacy that will be remembered long into the future.

 

Legacy of Kain Series (Retrospective) - Never Forget | BoukenJima

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I love few gaming franchises as much as the Legacy of Kain—there is nothing else out there quite like it. The LoK series has been forgotten by most people nowadays but the world these games created is utterly unique and the story it tells is my favorite in the entire medium. So let's remember this fine piece of gaming history. Let's talk about vampires, time travel and destiny.

Shoutout to RainaAudron for letting me use his Soul Reaver 1 footage.

 

The Problems With Far Cry // HeavyEyed

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You Need To Play Golf Story

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Golf Story just might be the best sleeper hit of 2017. If you enjoyed Stardew Valley or Mario Golf it is a MUST play on the Switch - I loved every second of it! Let's talk about why.

Support snomaN Gaming on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/snomangaming

 

Exploring Death Positivity with A Mortician's Tale

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In this video I discuss the Death Positive movement and how A Mortician's Tale makes it accessible to a brand new community.

Consider Supporting me on Patreon: http://patreon.com/pushinguproses

 

The Pacing of PUBG - The Thriller Tension of Battlegrounds - Extra Credits

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Why have we become obsessed with a game where nothing happens for minutes at a time? It's because PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is something rare in games: a multiplayer thriller.

 

Cuphead's Creators Reveal Their Fighting Game Influences

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Cuphead developers Chad and Jared Moldenhauer talk about how their love for old fighting games made its way into a few of the game's bosses.

 

Overwatch - Early In Development Gameplay Footage

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Early In Development Gameplay footage from Overwatch with commentary from Jeff Kaplan and Michael Chu! From the Overwatch Archives panel at Blizzcon 2017

 

Invent a Game, Reinvent Yourself

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In this 2017 GDC talk, CheckPoint's Jennifer Hazel and FRAMED creator Joshua Boggs provide evidence-based, clinically relevant tips about how to be mindful of your own mental health and what you can do if things get tough during the process of game development.

 

Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games, game communities, or game companies

 

Assassin's Creed Photo Mode

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Check out some of the best screenshots we've seen from Assassin's Creed Origins' Photo Mode! Keep tagging us and you could be featured next

 

Females Ruined Gaming For Those Who Don't Have Sex (Commentocracy)

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http://www.patreon.com/jimquisition
http://www.thejimquisition.com
https://sharkrobot.com/collections/Jimquisition-merch

Duke Amiel du H'ardcore today brings word from the incel community, who have decided that "femoids" and "normies" ruined their safe space.

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